WASHINGTON, March 31, 2015-- USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced funding awards totaling nearly $19 million to 36 universities that are conducting projects related to safety in the food supply.  

NIFA made the awards, which include more than $6.7 million for antimicrobial resistance strategies, through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

"Increasing food safety continues to be a major focus for USDA, as it directly impacts the health and well-being of all Americans," said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. "Funding provided to universities supports discoveries of new ways that we can prevent foodborne illnesses and increase the safety of our food production industry."

NIFA made the awards through the AFRI Food Safety program, which aims to protect consumers from microbial and chemical contaminants that may occur in the food chain.

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This year, AFRI's Food Safety program is comprised of five sub-programs: Enhancing Food Safety through Improved Processing Technologies; Effective Mitigation Strategies for Antimicrobial Resistance; Identifying and Targeting Food Safety Needs; Improving Food Safety; and Improving Food Quality.

This year's projects include Washington State University's efforts to discover causes and solutions for antimicrobial resistance on dairy farms and calf-rearing ranches. Additionally, West Virginia University researchers aim to develop protein sources for the growing population by repurposing protein from underutilized resources, specifically the water-soluble proteins from fish processing byproducts that contain mineral, amino acid, and fatty acid profiles.

A complete list of this year's project descriptions is available on the NIFA website.


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